Review: Kavalan Sherry Oak Single Malt Taiwanese Whisky / by Jason Hambrey

Oloroso Sherry Casks
100% Malted Barley
Distiller Kavalan (Yuanshan, Taiwan)

This whisky is Kavalan matured in sherry casks, in a process similar to their distinguished Solist series, only bottled at 46% and in batches rather than single barrels.

Review (2016)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: ~2015

A lot of almost bitter rancio on the nose, but it slows down a bit and opens up to rich fruitcake, currants, marmalade, and apple seeds with some vanilla in the background. The palate shows a lot of caramel truffles, rich milk chocolate, prunes, raisins, rancio, brown sugar – but still earthy and savoury like some sherry sauce that has been used to deglaze frying caramelized mushrooms. Lots of rancio…and this is in some ways a bit more like a rancio-heavy brandy than a whisky. The finish is full of brown sugar and sherry, and some raisin-y tannins.

There’s a lot of sherry in there! The whisky does get a little lost…again, no complaints here – it is all very nice. This might be a point less if I didn’t like rancio so much…

Recommended (81% of whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Low. Nice stuff, but expensive at ~150$ CAD.